Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yellow Dust

Two weekends a go (yeah, I'm catching up!) Andrew and I woke up to some gloomy weather. The way our apartment is set up doesn't allow us direct access to an outside window. We have a large smoked glass window, which opens to our "laundry room" (best described as a crawl space, seeing as we can't stand up straight in it)... outside the laundry room is the window which looks outside. So, we could tell the day was gloomy because we weren't getting much light in the windows.

However, once we opened our smoked glass window and looked outside we thought the sky looked a bit off. It was pretty creepy, looking like it was pre/post-tornado sky. We went out to the store, not knowing what was going on. We thought maybe there was a volcano eruption? An earthquake? Should we be outside? It was pretty windy, but some people seemed to be going about their business, so we went to the store anyway. Many people had face masks on, but I'd sad half the people are wearing face masks on any given day, so it didn't seem unusual.

The weather was actually low 50's, so I had the window opened wide to dry our laundry.

At work on Monday, I asked my co-worker what was going on with the sky on Saturday. He said, "Oh, yeah... that was the yellow dust storms from China. You shouldn't have gone outside and should have closed your windows. It is dangerous to breathe in."

Uh... what?! There is no news in English here. If something like this happens, we have no clue about it! We got home and researched a bit more. Apparently it is a meteorological phenomenon which dust from China's desert makes its way to our skies. The dust is said to have heavy metals in it, which are very damaging to health. This was, apparently, the worst yellow dust storm on record (lucky us). We were told the dust storms were likely to reoccur within the next month or so... so if the skies look suspicious, we should wear our face masks.

I gathered some pictures from the internet for you to see:

See what I mean by eerie skies? 

Car wash! Our taxi's window looked like this. 

That's not smog... 

Sweeping after the dust.

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